January 1, 2020 Subject:
Date of Publication
This catalog has been dated in the late 1930's - 1938-1939. However, there are at least three, possibly four, printed references that would give references to a publication date of the 1940 edition.
The Freight Paid Price List No. 40, the yellow printed page at the middle of the book approximately page 22, gives the expiration date for those prices as May 15, 1940. While this could possibly have begun in late 1939, it's unlikely that those prices would have extended beyond the busiest portion of the construction season, without leaving them an "out" to adjust the prices of their materials. This is the least reliable reference to a 1940 publication date. Others are more reliable.
The Peoples Commercial and Savings Bank reference letter for the company, page 44, is dated November 22, 1939. Given the handling time from the bank, the receipt of the letter, the internal company handling time, the forwarding of the letter that would convert it into the image to be printed for that page in the catalog, it is highly unlikely that a late November dated document would have been created, forwarded and handled in time to make it into any 1939 publication. Again, it wouldn't definitively hold up in a court of law, but in terms of evidence, it could still make sense.
The two pieces of evidence that do make the case, are the next two pages in yellow, are the Letter of Deposit, and the Order Blank, which follow the Price List. Both of those pages have been preprinted with portions of the date sections meant to be signed at the time of use, and both of those sections say either Dated......................194...., at the bottom of the Letter of Deposit, and on the Order Blank at the top of the page where it says Date....................194....... . Those pages were obviously intended for use during 1940, not before then.
These kinds of clues can be found and used to determine publication dates for catalogs that don't have other obvious publication or print dates.
I would be interested to see what information was printed on the blue printed page that seems to be listing though. There is a catalog identical to this one currently listed (1-1-2020) that shows that page, but it is of course the only page shown that is too out of focus to read! I even own a copy of my own, but that blue page is missing entirely. The only part I could make out in the largest type, involved the FHA Home Financing program. Since it had only been in use since 1934, and had been modified and altered somewhat since the beginning, and many people were still new to it at that point, there was still more to tell I'm sure.